WSTP Electra

Use

Automated processing through a web service.

WSTP Electra provides automatic access to the Electra system from customers’ back-end systems (bookkeeping and invoicing systems). The name is the acronym for ‘Webservice Straight-Through-Processing‘ operating mode. The WSTP module communicates with connected systems with SOAP messages, using protocols compliant with international standards. With WSTP Electra, bank customers can send STP messages to Electra and, through it, to their banks in the form of standard web service calls from different platforms and from various application development frameworks.

The Electra Client Program is an electronic communication channel for bank customers, who provides access to most bank services. The basic solution comprises two main components: the central computer operated at the bank and running the server software (Electra server), and the terminal programs (Electra Client Program) installed on the customers’ computers. The Electra Client Program and the Electra server operate in a client-server setup. Connected both to the bank’s internal clearing systems and to Electra client programs, the Electra server provides all central functions. The server has a continuous, mostly real-time connection with the clearing systems, and functions as a server from the perspective of the client programs. Bank customers must use the Client Program to connect to the server and to the bank’s clearing systems behind it. In the initial Electra Client Program architecture, the client program was the endpoint: it was the only component on the customer’s side which had an automatic program-to-program connection with the bank’s systems. With the WSTP module installed, this connection can be extended to include the company’s own systems. This gives banks a means to provide higher level services, which is a basic requirement when it comes to processing money market deals fast.

When this module is installed, bank customers can use their own company applications to initiate transactions, which are automatically transferred via Electra into the bank’s account management systems without any human intervention. The bank clearing systems then process these transactions during their respective scheduled operating periods. Thanks to this setup, banks can send all (status) information about processed transactions directly to the customers’ systems.

Since most SMEs do not run company-level processing systems, the Electra Client Program usually functions as the endpoint of their bank connection. However, when operating in a large corporate environment, it is essential that individual financial processing systems could connect to the bank’s account management systems directly and without human intervention, through integrating specific system elements.

 

Major advantages of WSTP Electra

  • It eliminates the need for file-based communication and also its inherent security problems: data always flow strictly between programs, through a direct data link where data are sent from the memory area allocated to one program to the memory area allocated to another one.
  • The WSTP service is accessible via a web service interface defined in a WSDL file.
  • The proprietary Cardinal component does not need to be integrated with the customer's system. If the customer system allows web service calls, the STP functionality is available right away based on the WSDL description for the WSTP module.
  • It is the customer's responsibility to build complex business functions from basic building blocks at the requests/responses level.
  • If a corporate customer can ensure user identification within its competence (e.g. through regulations) and, as a result, the bank accepts the system as a closed and audited unit, the WSTP Electra program will not have natural person users.
  • The program module implementing the web service supports the https protocol (OpenSSL implementation) in addition to http.
  • Using the standard http protocol simplifies the security auditing of the module and so offers easy integration with complex IT systems of the bank's customers.
  • It handles passwords and incorrect inputs the same way as other members of the Electra ecosystem.
  • The module includes all components necessary to provide the WSTP functionality, so there is no need to install, run or maintain any additional third party components (database managers, web servers etc.) in the customers' IT systems.
  • The program runs its own 'mini web server' to receive web server calls so, apart from running the module, it does not require the installation and maintenance of any additional external programs.
  • When run in a networked environment, WSTP Electra can use the same database as the Client Program. If a user needs some data stored by the Client Program, they can immediately access them via the WSTP interface, without having to download anything. This reduces the load of banking systems.

Integrability

WSTP architecture

WSTP Electra has two operating modes:

  • Normal mode: this is the same as the conventional use of the Electra Client Program, where the user manually accesses and manages data through a graphical user interface (using a mouse and a keyboard).
  • WSTP mode: here, the Electra Client Program listens for and executes standard web service calls sent on a predefined TCP/IP port using http / https protocols.

How to use WSTP

The web service functionality of WSTP Electra supports four operating modes:

  • Standard web service calls (request/response)
  • WSDL documentation
  • Online help
  • SSL key and certificate (p12) generation